Happy Holidays and a Reimagined Ajax Cup
December 23, 2020
December 23rd, 2020Dear AVSC Community,
In a "normal" year at Aspen Valley Ski & Snowboard Club, the holidays are both a time of bustling athletic activity and a time to catch up with our broader AVSC community. Typically, alumni are back in town, parents often have more flexible work schedules and have more time to chat at drop off and pick up, our friends from out of town are here for a significant stretch of time, and we welcome hundreds of AVSC supporters to race in and spectate the Audi Ajax Cup.
COVID-19 has changed things, but together with Pitkin County Public Health, Aspen Valley Hospital, The Steadman Clinic, and Aspen Skiing Company we were able to put together a plan to safely and robustly continue our on-hill operations for coaches and athletes this year. As you know, our athletes have been on snow since early November. The Stapleton Training Center opened to all disciplines the earliest that it ever has this year. Aspen Supports Kids kicked off with early-season programs in Snowmass, soon we'll have Powder Pandas all over Buttermilk, Aspenauts blasting off at Snowmass, and all other groups on snow, too. Our athletes are enjoying productive training, great conditions, and safe camaraderie - things that are meaningful in any given year, but particularly now.
One week from today, we will open the Stapleton Training Center up to our Audi Ajax Cup racers. While we will miss the crowds on the viewing platform, the free-flowing snacks and drinks, and the lively après party, we are so grateful to provide our Ajax Cup community with a similar experience to what we've worked so hard to make happen for our athletes this year. With strict COVID-19 protocols in place, they will have the opportunity to enjoy a similar experience to the daily life of the athletes that they so fervently believe in and support. Back to the basics - no party, just racing - and back to the reason why this event, when it was dreamed up by a passionate few over a decade ago, made perfect sense for us. We are a club for skiers and snowboarders, by skiers and snowboarders. A black tie gala just wouldn't be the same!
While we will have no spectators in person, you can tune into the livestream to watch the action unfold at the Stapleton Training Center. Visit www.teamavsc.org, www.audiajaxcup.com, or our AVSC Facebook page on December 30th to tune in, the race starts at 9am! The Audi Ajax Cup is our largest and most impactful fundraiser, the event that makes it possible for us to fulfill our mission of helping local kids grow into great athletes and great kids through winter sports. Last year we raised over $900,000! This helps us not only provide generous individual scholarships, but also reduce program fees across the board.
I am proud of our staff, our athletes, and our winter sports community for nimbly adapting to the challenges brought about by COVID-19 and approaching this season with a positive, growth-oriented mindset. Our goal is to keep our athletes healthy, engaged, and safely connected to their friends and mentors. I am grateful we're able to do that this winter, and, as we enjoy our 84th season, I am grateful that we'll be able to continue to do that in the future!
Happy Holidays and thank you for being a part of our community. This year has been challenging for all of us, but the ability to get outside and do what we love sure makes it easier. Cheers to health and happiness in 2021!
All the best,
Aspen Valley Ski & Snowboard Club